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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:
• Citigroup says iPhone app stored customer data
SEATTLE — Citigroup Inc. said Monday that its iPhone banking program has been saving customer account information in hidden files on users’ smart phones and computers.
"We have no reason to believe that our customers’ personal information has been accessed or used inappropriately by anyone," said spokeswoman Natalie Riper in a statement. "There has been no data breach."
The Citi Mobile iPhone banking program let U.S. Citibank customers see their account and credit card balances, pay bills and transfer money, and helped them locate nearby ATMs. The hidden files were logging account numbers and bill payment information, among other data.
The company said it has updated the program so that it deletes the sensitive information on iPhones and computers the devices connected to using Apple Inc.’s iTunes program, and so that information isn’t stored in the future. Riper said Citibank is telling people who downloaded the app about the update.
The company said its other apps and mobile services do not have this problem.
• AT&T shares upgraded at Deutsche Bank
SEATTLE – The price of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) shares already takes into account the possibility that the wireless carrier will face competition for iPhone customers, a Deutsche Bank analyst said Monday.
Analyst Brett Feldman wrote in a client note that he expects strong growth in AT&T’s wireless subscriptions and stabilizing revenue from wired subscribers. He said AT&T could pursue an $8 billion stock buyback, which would boost per-share earnings and increase the percentage size of shareholders’ stakes.
Feldman also said that if the iPhone goes on sale with Verizon Wireless or another cell phone carrier in the U.S., he expects AT&T’s 2011 earnings per share to take a 12-cent hit at worst. However, he thinks that risk is already priced into the stock.
Feldman boosted his rating on AT&T shares to "Buy" from "Hold" and raised his price target to $31 from $30.
AT&T shares closed at $25.96 Monday, up 42 cents.
• Rambus-Nvidia chip dispute rages on
SEATTLE — Chipmaker Rambus Inc. said Monday that The U.S. International Trade Commission plans to stop competitors from bringing products into U.S. that contain its patented technology.
In April, the trade commission decided that Nvidia Corp.’s technology infringes on several of Rambus’ patents.
Rambus had filed a complaint against Nvidia, which makes computer graphics chips and other technology, plus device manufacturers including PC makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Asus Computer International Inc., in 2008. Rambus argued that Nvidia chips infringe on its patents related to the workings of memory systems in computers, gaming consoles and mobile devices.
Rambus said in a statement Monday that the trade commission intends to issue a limited exclusion order, which bars Nvidia and the device makers from importing and selling products that contain the technology in question.
The companies could import and sell the products during a 60-day review period, Rambus said, if they post a bond of 2.65 percent of the value of the products.
The trade commission’s final determination has not yet been published.
Nvidia spokesman Hector Marinez said in a statement that the ruling will not affect the company’s customers or business, because the chipmaker plans to use a license the European Commission required Rambus to make available as part of an ongoing antitrust investigation there.
The license will prevent the trade commission’s order from being enforced, Marinez said.
Nvidia said it plans to appeal the case and press its arguments before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.